Thai Beef Salad ~ it’s in a league all by itself, with ribbons of rare steak, tons of fresh herbs like basil, mint, and cilantro, feathery slices of red onion, crunchy cukes, hot peppers, and a tangy garlic ginger dressing ~ can you resist?
This is a salad that needs to have room to breathe…spread it out on a a big platter so you don’t crush the delicate herbs or hide that fabulous steak. The ingredients in this one of a kind salad make your mouth water just looking at them, so show them off!
The flavor lowdown~ the key elements that distinguish a Thai Beef Salad are a combination of basil, cilantro, and mint, along with lime, ginger, garlic, soy and fish sauce. Hot peppers provide an important kick of heat.
I think main course salads like this are such a great way to eat. I go through periods where I cut carbs to drop a few pounds, and I have to say this is the ultimate way to do that. This meal is light yet exploding with flavor, believe me, you’re not missing a thing here. I do other main course salads that aren’t just piles of lettuce, too…my NICOISE SALAD is loaded with tuna, beans, and eggs for a ton of protein. My CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD is another healthy but hearty salad that helps shed pounds without leaving you hungry.
This Thai Beef Salad is a great example of a dish that might seem exotic and unapproachable for a regular family meal, but turns out to be no more trouble than any other salad. While the flavors are layered and complex, there aren’t any hard to find ingredients in here. Don’t have fish sauce? You should! It’s right there next to the soy sauce, pick some up next time you’re shopping. (You’re going to need it if you want to make my SHRIMP PAD THAI)
TIP: Take your time through the produce section and choose the freshest looking herbs ~ if you’re near a farmer’s market, all the better. If you need to buy the herbs ahead of time, snip off the bottoms of their stems and put them in a glass of water. Cover loosely with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator.
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- 3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used canola)
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 lb top sirloin steak (or any cut you like)
- vegetable oil
- 8 large leaves of red leaf lettuce, rough chopped
- 2 small Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced (don't peel)
- about 1/2 a small red onion, sliced paper thin (I used a mandolin)
- a handful of fresh basil leaves (thinly shred them if they are large)
- a handful of fresh cilantro leaves
- a handful of fresh mint leaves
- 2 small hot red peppers, thinly sliced, seeds and all
- 1/3 cup peanuts, chopped
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
- Heat a skillet or grill pan over high heat until very hot. Brush the steak lightly with oil on both sides and grill for about 3 minutes per side for rare, or until it's done the way you like it.
- Set the steak on a plate and cover with foil, let it rest for 10 minutes. Then slice it very thinly across the grain with a sharp knife.
- Arrange the lettuce across the bottom of a platter. Top with the cucumbers and onion slices, separating the rings as you scatter them around.
- Next add the steak and fresh herbs. Scatter the hot pepper rings over the top, along with the peanuts.
- Drizzle the dressing liberally over all, and serve immediately.
- If you like, you can marinate the steak in some of the dressing for anywhere from an hour to overnight. In that case, double the dressing recipe.
- Don’t dress this salad until just before eating, the dressing will wilt the herbs.
- Other creative Thai Beef inspired recipes to try ~ this Crock Pot Thai Steak Salad allows you to use a lesser cut of meat because the crock pot tenderizes the beef over a long slow cooking. Rustic Thai Beef Soup is a slurpable version. Thai Steak Bites are served in individual portions and perfect for entertaining. Thai Steak and Green Bean Stir Fry is a brilliant family dinner variation. And Thai Beef Nachos sound like something I need to make soon.
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